The Challenges of Flavour Analysis Comparison and Choices of Extraction Techniques

The term ‘flavour analysis’, will mean different things to different people and a number of approaches can be employed This may include a volatile profile of a product: a comparison of products or ingredients for volatiles or off-flavours; determination of specific flavour related components; or perhaps a full study using aroma extract dilution analysis (AEDA) with gas chromatography-olfactory (GC-O) to fully characterise the flavour active compounds in a product or ingredient. In some instances where the taste as well as the aroma is important, this may also involve liquid chromatography techniques, such as liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). The perception of flavour can also be linked to physical parameters such as texture, and consumer preference can be strongly linked to the flavour release mechanisms, which can also be studied.

In the most part, flavour analysis concentrates on volatile components and this means that gas chromatography (GC) is the instrumental method of choice. However, the method of sample extraction can be key in the information obtained from the instrumental analysis and it is important to recognise the strengths and weaknesses of each approach in order to select the most appropriate technique for each application.

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